Patterico's Pontifications

2/7/2009

Feeling Unstimulated? Watch This.

Filed under: Economics,General — Jack Dunphy @ 6:36 pm

[Guest post by Jack Dunphy]

In the below video, Milton Friedman takes Phil Donahue to school on the value of free markets. He expresses what not so long ago were America’s guiding economic principles. These principles may rise again, but not, I fear, before much “stimulating” damage has been done.

If the video inspires an interest in Friedman’s work, I recommend reading Free to Choose, which he co-authored with his wife, Rose.

140 Responses to “Feeling Unstimulated? Watch This.”

  1. It is a classic exchange that gets marched out every now and again by conservatives (never by liberals). And then we forget. And then we have to be reminded again.

    Milton Friedman to Economics is like Isaiah to the Bible.

    Joe (17aeff)

  2. But watch. Shortly, some of our under-the-bridge friends will tell us how “dumb” Friedman is, while Krugman is a freakin’ genius.

    Set your watches.

    Eric Blair (1aa50b)

  3. Great clip.

    Free to Choose was great, so is the The Road to Serfdom by Hayek.

    Patricia (89cb84)

  4. Free Enterprise Capitalism — Not Perfect, but the best damn thing ever for progress, and advancement for the greatest amount for the greatest number. Nothing, nothing in the whole bleeding history of the whole fricken world has done a better job to improve man’s condition that free enterprise capitalism. Oh yeah, and Phil Donahue is liberal commie panzy turdball.

    J. Raymond Wright (e8d0ca)

  5. What happened out on the east coast a few hundred years ago with that start-up colony when all that was produced was shared evenly among all the people who lived there? And why was it changed to “keep what you produce?”

    John Hitchcock (fb941d)

  6. #3 Eric Blair:

    while Krugman is a freakin’ genius.

    Isn’t he the one the joke is about? “Predicted 8 of the last 2 recessions,” or something like that…

    EW1(SG) (e27928)

  7. Krugman is as dishonest of a trollish little midget man as Reich is.

    JD (fb1fc9)

  8. Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and then misapplying the wrong remedies.

    Grouch (9bc0ff)

  9. #9 Grouch:

    Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and then misapplying the wrong remedies.

    Grouch, the only fair compensation I can give you for that one is to let you know in advance that I’m gonna steal it.

    EW1(SG) (e27928)

  10. That’s OK. It’s from Groucho Marx. Somehow the o got left off the commenting name that I used. Must not have pressed that key hard enough.

    Groucho (9bc0ff)

  11. Krugman must be dead. Either that or my watch has stopped.

    Groucho (9bc0ff)

  12. By Groucho’s definition, Baracky, SanFranNan, and Harry are the greatest politicians ever.

    JD (fb1fc9)

  13. Well DUH, Lord Krugman only just won a Nobel Prize for economics, no? And Algore also won for Peace, as did that incandescent for democratic ideals and fostering of world peace, Arafish. How many emmies, oscars, nobels, pulitzers did the Bushes ever win?? You neocons are upset because liberals show empathy and compassion plus the liberal men and women are drop dead gorgeous- see Rosie O’Donnell, Lurch sKerry, Lord Gore, Jugears, et al. Face it, the Obots and our own Emperor 7 are on the right side of history.

    aoibhneas (0c6cfc)

  14. I still think the economic quagmire we’re in right now is best exemplified by none other than Bernard Madoff, the crooked investor who was a big supporter of Democrat politicians and causes. Or the attempt by those on the left to shame, or force, the mortgage industry into handing out loans to people regardless of their circumstances and credit history.

    As they say, the road to hell is paved with good intentions, driven on by a lot of clueless liberals who often are all too willing to pick up any and every hitchhiker out there—hucksters and flim-flam artists included, not to mention the current occupant of the Oval Office.

    Mark (411533)

  15. I suppose Phil Donahue is sitting there in his expensive suit, coming to the studio in an expensive car, from his high rent neighborhood thinking about how he manipulated the system to get where he is, screwing as many poor people as possible in the process?

    proof (776ff5)

  16. I’ll soon take all my troubles over to Obama Rue
    You know The One with the never ending Hope and Change shtick
    He’s goin’ get a pad down on Pennsylvania avenue
    He’ll be passin’ out little bottles of Obama Potion Number Nine

    I’ll tell him that I’m having trouble with my mortgage payments
    It’s gotten even worse in these last few weeks
    He’ll kiss me on the cheek and he’ll made a magic sign
    He’ll say “What you need is Obama Potion Number Nine”

    He’ll turn around and gave me a wink
    He’ll say “I’m gonna have my Michelle make it up right here in the White House sink”
    It’ll smell like Chicago, it’ll look like socialist ink
    I’ll hold my nose, I’ll close my eyes, I’ll take a drink

    I won’t know if it is day or night
    I’ll start grabbin’ everyone else’s money that is in sight
    But when there’s nothin’ left to grab
    It’ll break my little bottle of Obama Potion Number Nine

    Hollies (9bc0ff)

  17. Mark – “As they say, the road to hell is paved with good intentions, driven on by a lot of clueless liberals who often are all too willing to pick up any and every hitchhiker out there—hucksters and flim-flam artists included, not to mention the current occupant of the Oval Office.”

    Hands can’t be laid on the Obama man, the flim flam man.
    His mind may be in the clouds and his talk may be make believe.
    Oh lord, the man’s a fraud, he’s a flim flam man. But he’s so cagey, he’s a flim flam man.

    Hands can’t be laid on the Obama man, the flim flam man.
    He’s wrapped up in a big beautiful box making out like he’ll give you more gifts than Santa Claus.
    Oh lord, the man’s a fraud, he’s a flim flam man. But he’s such a fox, he’s a flim flam man.

    Everybody wants him, the Germans and the Brits, and all the Hollywood elites he does disarm.
    Oh yeah, the beautiful gent, you know he’ll leave you with hardly a cent.
    But maybe you can pay your bills with his charm.

    Hands can’t be laid on the Obama man, the flim flam man.
    His plans may be up his sleeve and his talk may be make believe.
    Oh lord, the man’s a fraud, he’s a flim flam man. He’s so cagey, he’s an artist.

    Don’t believe he can be floored, he’s a flim flam man.

    Laura Nyro (9bc0ff)

  18. I suppose Phil Donahue is sitting there in his expensive suit, coming to the studio in an expensive car, from his high rent neighborhood thinking about how he manipulated the system to get where he is, screwing as many poor people as possible in the process?

    Of course he is. He’s aware what a light-weight nothing he is.

    Rob Crawford (b5d1c2)

  19. Laura,

    But maybe you can pay your bills with his charm.

    The Obots seem to think so.

    Vermont Neighbor (ab0837)

  20. Holy Monkeys when was this clip made? The late 70′s? early 80′s? Where is the political commentator brought onto the show to provide “balance” shouting down Friedman with talking points to prove what an idiot he is?
    The best part about that clip is that the host shuts up and lets the guest on the show, you know, talk and get his ideas across.

    EdWood (42ad61)

  21. The Victors’ Feast
    (Imitating Schiller)

    See them feasting on the shambles
    Of a nation laid to waste:
    Tasting victory in haste,
    Recklessly a victor gambles.

    Waves of popular revulsion,
    Rising high from now to then,
    By the year of 2010
    Should provide for their expulsion!

    first-hand opinion (0110c4)

  22. Wow! Where could we see the rest of that interview? I want to show it to my kids.

    Shoot – I’d like to memorize it.

    Seems to me the argument for capitalism would get more traction if the terms were shifted to emphasize the most basic element of it – one that even the libs are unwilling to deny – the basic right to own personal property and to keep the fruits of your own labor.

    Guarantee that and you wouldn’t have to fight over terms like capitalism and socialism. You couldn’t nationalize an industry. You couldn’t demonize the rich. Anyone who tried would be seen to be advocating for the power to take away private property. Which is, of course, exactly what the libs have achieved with the confiscatory graduated income tax, etc. by dictating the terms of the debate.

    That was the beauty of Friedman’s response. He reframed the terms of the debate.

    Gesundheit (9ca635)

  23. Every high school in the USA should have a required Econ course, highlighting the works of Milton Friedman and Thomas Sowell. Instead they are showing our kids Al Gore’s fantasy movie.

    Julie (31062f)

  24. John Hitchcock, what colony was that?

    Yehudit (f41a7e)

  25. No one has pointed it out yet, so allow me. Every word Friedman said went right over Donahue’s mop of grey hair. Body language alone. I’m not a big Friedman fan, more an Austrian School guy, but I certainly admired this so-called ‘rant’. Too bad it falls on deaf ears.

    This was probably taped around the time when Greed was the topic du jour.

    allan (ad9bc3)

  26. The truly moral is often impractical.

    The practical is often less than truly moral.

    But don’t trouble yourselves: just keep slurping up Freidman’s rhetorical frappe, because it just feels good.

    And it’s all about feelings, right?

    Hax Vobiscum (edacf7)

  27. Hax – what an appropriate name. I notice you have nothing to say about Friedman’s ideas. Just an emotional rant accusing others of vapid emotion.

    Troll.

    Apogee (f4320c)

  28. Friedman contrasts capitalism with Stalinism and Nazism.

    Are we supposed to think that’s relevant?

    Conveniently, he leaves out welfare-state, industrially planned economies like most of Europe, China, Japan and so on, for comparison with the U.S. model of less government involvment, depending on how you measure it.

    I’ve got no beef with Friedman’s claim that the “free enterprise” system is better than Stalinism or Nazism. He’s dead right there: but isn’t that a false dichotomy?

    I haven’t heard anyone, anywhere advocating Stalinism or Nazism.

    Why, then, does Friedman waste our time reassuring us that the free enterprise system is superior to those totalitarian nightmares?

    The fundamental choice our business and political leaders face, along with voters, is between free market absolutism, or a mixed economy that deploys industrial planning, a degree of income redistribution and public education.

    The Youtube clip delivers the requisite execution of a straw man, to the cheers of wingnuts everywhere, but really sells Freidman a bit short.

    Freidman actually has some very good ideas about how to redistribute income more efficiently.

    If I recall correctly, he advocated a negative income tax: pretty much exactly what the Obama administration has planned.

    Hax Vobiscum (edacf7)

  29. Friedman contrasts capitalism with Stalinism and Nazism.

    Are we supposed to think that’s relevant?

    Yep. A command economy under the control of a charismatic leader like Stalin or O!bama is still a command economy; and as Friedman noted, history is replete with examples of them NOT working, while failing to give us a single counterexample.

    Conveniently, he leaves out welfare-state, industrially planned economies

    On the contrary, his specifically addresses them in his opening comment, so that the only one in the room

    delivers[ing] the requisite execution of a straw man, to the cheers of wingnuts everywhere,

    is you.

    EW1(SG) (e27928)

  30. EW1 – Hack Scum will not be deterred from its servicing of Teh Narrative.

    JD (1653ac)

  31. #30
    Friedman contrasts capitalism with Stalinism and Nazism. Are we supposed to think that’s relevant?

    Do you prefer Castro command economy? How about various African potentates? Perhaps the various Muslim economic models without oil revenue?

    The European and Japanese models were “successful” because the USA paid their defense costs for 50 years. Furthermore, their economies were nurtured by the anti-capitalist Brenton Woods agreement from about 1946 to 1971 where the USA was the willing loser in order to build up European exports and to hobble US production. Without the US paying their defense costs, and without Brenton Woods, the Europeans and Japanese would not have their welfare states.

    Perfect Sense (0922fa)

  32. Oh, I’m feeling something, but “stimulated” isn’t the word I’d use.

    The Dana who feels like he's been Andrew Sullivaned (556f76)

  33. Hax, the point you (conveniently) missed in Friedman’s statement is that freedom is the key, and that no one should be trusted with the power involved in “industrial planning”.

    Rob Crawford (b5d1c2)

  34. #32 JD:

    Hack Scum will not be deterred from its servicing of Teh Narrative.

    I don’t claim to have an attention span rivalling that of a two year old, but DAYUM! Not being able to get from the video at the top of the page to the comment box at the bottom makes me look like the essence of concentration!

    EW1(SG) (e27928)

  35. Friedman was a great economist, but the clip above sucks ass, and if anything makes converts to socialism. No one will be inspired to consider capitalism on the argument that no other political/economic system is any better, because all such systems are fueled by some from of (immoral) greed or self-interest.

    Capitalism does reward virtue, the virtue of productivity.

    Brian (12c9ff)

  36. To be fair, very few people, much less Phil Donohue, could effectively spar with Milton Friedman.

    sierra (4be1ff)

  37. [...] FEELING UNSTIMULATED? Watch this. [...]

    Instapundit » Blog Archive (a3d746)

  38. Just exactly who is interviewing who here?

    Scott (4b05d3)

  39. Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and then misapplying the wrong remedies.

    The only problem I have with this quote is that it logically implies that sometimes the misapplication of the wrong remedies could result in the application of the correct remedies, like a broken clock being right twice a day, which CLEARLY never happens.

    Comment by Yehudit — 2/8/2009 @ 12:25 am

    That was the original Plymouth Bay colony, which tried communal ownership and went through a terrible famine as a result. Massachusetts has been trying to recreate those results ever since.

    venividivici (eee857)

  40. : just keep slurping up Freidman’s rhetorical frappe, because it just feels good.

    Uh, oh – I was afraid this would happen; Hackey’s starting to come on to us. Watch for more subliminal metaphors and thinly – veiled passive – aggressive musings to follow.

    Dmac (49b16c)

  41. The saddest thing about that clip is that when Friedman says “Where in the world do you find these angels who are going to organize society for us?” some would respond you-know-Hussein.

    The second saddest thing is that as biased, pompous, and arrogant as Donahue was, he DID give people a chance to respond to his leftist blather. Oprah, his heir apparent, can’t even stand to have conservatives share her stage.

    L.N. Smithee (3de612)

  42. [...] yet Milton Friedman didn’t convince Phil Donohue, did [...]

    Chapomatic (d6e888)

  43. What Milton describes is a system by which self interest can find willing counter-parties in a trade because there are so many with each pursuing their own little thing.

    Politics and beliefs be damn — you need to work the system to get what you want but at least everyone is free to do as this can/wish.

    What Libtards describes is Gov.t allocate trades to benefit one set of counter parties while screwing over the other counter parties. It is eliminating incentive and freedom for the screwed counter party.

    Socialist Democrats (like Obama) simply are saying the Majority can live off the Minority and the Minority has no real say in the matter. All the Minority can do is give up and stop working.

    Hey, anyway. Socialism is Envy with a Big Stick.

    Obama über alles!!!!! (48dd5e)

  44. Hey, Dmac, I told you that a troll would begin being snippy at Friedman. And I will bet you cash money that this character never actually read Free to Choose.

    Negative Income Tax” exactly like Obama’s proposal?

    Riiiigggghhhhht.

    Eric Blair (1aa50b)

  45. Donahue’s mistake was he thought he could rhetoric, fallacy, misinform his way past a knowledgeable person.

    John Hitchcock (fb941d)

  46. Eric,

    Negative tax income is Tax Credits for folks who don’t pay income taxes.

    I know folks working off-the books who file taxes every year to get money from the Gov.t and they don’t even pay payroll taxes.

    Sad. Real Sad what has become of our taxation system. Republicans as much to blame.

    Obama über alles!!!!! (48dd5e)

  47. Problem is Donahue always talks about motherhood and apple pie … wouldn’t it be great if everyone was the same!!!!

    It is cartoon character stuff from Kindergarten Teachers.

    But reality is no. It would not be good. It would be wretched poverty for all and boredom for all.

    Obama über alles!!!!! (48dd5e)

  48. Well, all I can say in response is that if a monkey had wings instead of a tail, he could swim in the water like a rabbit. (points for correct id.)

    Ropelight (e36d4f)

  49. And if my Aunt had nuts she would be my Uncle ….

    JD (f7890a)

  50. Olympia Snowe contact info: Phone: (202) 224-5344
    Toll Free: (800) 432-1599
    Fax: (202) 224-1946

    Susan Collins contact info: DC Office Information
    413 Dirksen Senate Office Building
    Washington, DC 20510
    Phone: (202) 224-2523
    Fax: (202) 224-2693

    Arlen Specter contact information: DC Address: The Honorable Arlen Specter
    United States Senate
    711 Hart Senate Office Building
    Washington, D.C. 20510-3802
    DC Phone: 202-224-4254
    DC Fax: 202-228-1229

    Remember be respectful. Be polite. Be firm. VOTE NO ON THIS STIMULUS!

    Joe (17aeff)

  51. In addition to the book Free to Choose that Jack recommends, there’s a PBS series also called Free to Choose. Each episode has a short filmed essay on a topic related to the economic benefits of freedom followed by a group discussion with Friedman and several guests.

    ccmcornell (aa8f34)

  52. Free to Choose is available on YouTube

    Horatio (55069c)

  53. [...] To his credit, Phil listened In Politics on February 8, 2009 at 12:41 pm What to see and hear the late Milton Friedman as he “takes Phil Donahue to school on the value of free markets”?  Here ‘tis. [...]

    To his credit, Phil listened « Blithe Spirit, the Blog (05b5a7)

  54. #39 “To be fair, very few people, much less Phil Donohue, could effectively spar with Milton Friedman.”

    I don’t think I ever saw him lose. Which isn’t the same thing as saying his ideas were unassailable.

    He used the glories of 19th century American church tithing as a social welfare rebuttal. He contended black unemployment mostly resulted from minimum wage laws.

    He did acknowledge government public works spending (WPA, etc.) was a fundamental component to ending the Great Depression.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JfdRpyfEmBE

    steve (56a4db)

  55. _____________________________________________

    He used the glories of 19th century American church tithing as a social welfare rebuttal.

    I think this speaks volumes:

    http://www.timeswatch.org, 12-12-08:

    Liberal columnist Nicholas Kristof once again displayed his counterintuitive bona fides. In his Sunday column, “Bleeding Heart Tightwads,” Kristof (just in time for Christmas) admitted to being disturbed by a survey showing that liberals, for all their talk of compassion, are less charitable than conservatives when it comes to spending their own money.

    This holiday season is a time to examine who’s been naughty and who’s been nice, but I’m unhappy with my findings. The problem is this: We liberals are personally stingy.

    Liberals show tremendous compassion in pushing for generous government spending to help the neediest people at home and abroad. Yet when it comes to individual contributions to charitable causes, liberals are cheapskates.

    Arthur Brooks, the author of a book on donors to charity, “Who Really Cares,” cites data that households headed by conservatives give 30 percent more to charity than households headed by liberals. A study by Google found an even greater disproportion: average annual contributions reported by conservatives were almost double those of liberals.

    ….

    Conservatives also appear to be more generous than liberals in nonfinancial ways. People in red states are considerably more likely to volunteer for good causes, and conservatives give blood more often. If liberals and moderates gave blood as often as conservatives, Mr. Brooks said, the American blood supply would increase by 45 percent.

    On his nytimes.com blog “On the Ground,” Kristof responded to the protests of huffy liberals:

    I think there’s a basic misunderstanding among many readers about the kind of conservative driving the trend. Those behind these figures aren’t Upper East Side zillionaires, but rather Idaho farmers and Alabama factory workers and Kansas insurance salesmen. They aren’t fabulously wealthy, but they tend to be embedded in smaller communities — including churches — where everyone knows everyone else and volunteering and donations are part of the grain of life.)

    He did acknowledge government public works spending (WPA, etc.) was a fundamental component to ending the Great Depression.

    Even Milton Friedman, no less, apparently fell for decades of liberal-tinged propaganda or public-relations hyperbole and gave more credit to Roosevelt than he deserved…

    Two UCLA economists say they have figured out why the Great Depression dragged on for almost 15 years, and they blame a suspect previously thought to be beyond reproach: President Franklin D. Roosevelt.

    After scrutinizing Roosevelt’s record for four years, Harold L. Cole and Lee E. Ohanian conclude in a new study that New Deal policies signed into law 71 years ago thwarted economic recovery for seven long years.

    “Why the Great Depression lasted so long has always been a great mystery, and because we never really knew the reason, we have always worried whether we would have another 10- to 15-year economic slump,” said Ohanian, vice chair of UCLA’s Department of Economics. “We found that a relapse isn’t likely unless lawmakers gum up a recovery with ill-conceived stimulus policies.”

    In an article in the August issue of the Journal of Political Economy, Ohanian and Cole blame specific anti-competition and pro-labor measures that Roosevelt promoted and signed into law June 16, 1933.

    _____________________________________________

    Mark (411533)

  56. Poor Phil D.

    Is he too polite, or too slow to pick up on Freidman’s schoolboy word games?

    True enough, Uncle Milty hits Lil Phil’s waffle ball out of the park. But that’s only because Phil’s pitches are so fat and slow.

    Greed?

    Everyone’s greedy, Milty strokes. Even the Soviets. They run on greed too.

    So far, so good, but then Lil Phil let’s Milty make a right turn on a red without stopping.

    What a minute. Greed’s good because EVEN THE SOVIETS do it?

    Even the Soviets do it would seem more like a reason to think greed is NOT SO GOOD.

    And then there’s the paen to Einstein’s achievements.

    Yes, the good clerk from Switzerland.

    A proud product of public schools.

    Einstein was very Free to Choose, once he’d benefited from the well-funded public school system.

    And where did Al get his start?

    The patent office. Yes, that’s right, the GOVERNMENT patent office. Another taxpayer teat, right Uncle Milty?

    Greed is bad. By definition.

    Greed makes the government grabby. It makes individuals grabby as well. And by grabby, I mean unwilling to follow the rules. And without rules, there’s no free market, just chaos.

    Nothing wrong with wanting to accumulate wealth so that your children never have to worry. Or nothing wrong either about wanting to accumulate wealth so you can get laid more by showing up at the Jockey Club in a Bentley. But that ain’t greed.

    Greed is wanting more and more, at the expense of respect for the rules and, ultimately, the civility of your fellow man.

    Greed is bad, by definition.

    There has never been a purely free market economy.

    The case is closed: it just doesn’t work.

    People need government planning.

    The question is how much, when, where and how. The rest is rhetoric and wasted time.

    Hax Vobiscum (edacf7)

  57. I listened to that entire 28:35 youtube link. Friedman suggested WPA was necessary to help people survive the Great Depression. He did not suggest WPA helped end the Great Depression.

    The program is definitely old. It refers to a $2.50 minimum wage and 11 pc overall social security tax. Minimum wage laws causing comparatively greater black unemployment is an expected result in the black community’s lower education level when compared to other ethnic communities. This was especially true at the time that program was taped.

    Friedman talked about the 19th century being the best for US prosperity. He talked about using OPM compared to using your own money. I don’t remember hearing him tie church donations to welfare.

    But be my guest, set up a Friedman straw man to attack. And even then, you didn’t do very well in attacking the straw man.

    John Hitchcock (fb941d)

  58. John, who the heck is this sneering self important person in #61?

    Funny thing is that the “government planning” he wants is a particular kind of government. One of which he approves.

    The “Uncle Milty” business kind of shows the game.

    Eric Blair (1aa50b)

  59. EB, my screen goes from post 60 to post 62. It seems post 61 is missing.

    John Hitchcock (fb941d)

  60. Government planning sounds sooooo comforting. Certainly it is stimulating to someone like Hack Scum.

    JD (fb1fc9)

  61. [...] Hat tips: Glenn Reynolds, Instapundit and Jack Dunphy, Patterico Pontifications. [...]

    Milton Friedman on Greed | BitsBlog (33ff78)

  62. “Greed is bad. By definition.”

    Hax – You’re hilarious. You self-contradictict in the same post.

    “Nothing wrong with wanting to accumulate wealth so that your children never have to worry. Or nothing wrong either about wanting to accumulate wealth so you can get laid more by showing up at the Jockey Club in a Bentley.”

    Oh Noes, now we learn that Hax has his own sooper sekret souble probation progressive diktionary that defines words just how he wants them defined – so only edumacated liberals understand them.

    Too funny!

    Carry On!!!!!!!111111!!!eleventy!!!!!

    daleyrocks (5d22c0)

  63. I think an $800 billion minimum wage would stimulate the economy. That minority union worker Obama chooses to employ could then stimulate the economy by gradually spending his hour’s pay. It doesn’t seem any worse than the current plan.

    daleyrocks (5d22c0)

  64. Hax: Einstein is proof why public schools are flawed. We should’ve had another Einstein by now.

    PS – The rest of us know he was gifted.

    Vermont Neighbor (ab0837)

  65. John, #61 is there for me. HV was carrying on about how free market capitalism doesn’t work, refers to Milton Friendman is “Uncle Milty” and issues this jaw-dropping statement:

    “Greed is wanting more and more, at the expense of respect for the rules and, ultimately, the civility of your fellow man.

    Greed is bad, by definition.

    There has never been a purely free market economy.

    The case is closed: it just doesn’t work.

    People need government planning.”

    The “civility of your fellow man” (sexist!) is unusual enough.

    The last sentence is the one that got me. Because the author of that statement very much objected to GW Bush’s government planning.

    This is the stuff that Jonah Goldberg writes about.

    Eric Blair (1aa50b)

  66. Speaking of following rules, how about those tax dodgers among Mr. Obama’s cabinet?

    Eric Blair (1aa50b)

  67. Because the author of that statement very much objected to GW Bush’s government planning.

    Good catch.

    Vermont Neighbor (ab0837)

  68. The fundamental choice our business and political leaders face, along with voters, is between free market absolutism, or a mixed economy that deploys industrial planning, a degree of income redistribution and public education.

    The Youtube clip delivers the requisite execution of a straw man, to the cheers of wingnuts everywhere, but really sells Freidman a bit short.

    Spoken like a young man who hasn’t read Wealth of Nations or Free to Choose. There has never been an absolute free market society because societies arise from more primitive origins as technology evolves.

    Rome built an empire on animal power and, just as the steam engine became a possibility about 400 AD, the system collapsed. Why ? maybe disease. Maybe the inability of Mediterranean agriculture methods to work in more temperate soil. The horse collar was not invented in Europe for another two or three hundred years although the Chinese had it.

    All society is evolving with technology. The medieval society was organized around agriculture and security concerns required the master-serf relationship. The Black Death actually ended serfdom because it made labor a scarce commodity because a third of the population died. All these factors, including climate as the medieval warm period ended about 1350, were powerful drivers of society.

    China was far more advanced technologically until 1450 when the Ming dynasty, having finally expelled the Mongols, closed the country off and stopped building ships and exploring. By the time Europeans arrived in the 1600s, they had regressed.

    We have finally arrived at a time when technology allows economic freedom and we risk losing it to yokels who think that man can influence global warming or cooling and who think they can plan economies. The Romans almost had the steam engine but then the library at Alexandria was burned and society collapsed for another 500 years. Progress is not inevitable. I don’t like the look of this crew in Washington now.

    Mike K (2cf494)

  69. I’ve shown this clip to every one of my introductory econ classes. I then start a discussion about monetary greed versus greed for political power and which one is worse.

    Mace (a7e648)

  70. The problem, Dr. K., as we have discussed before, is that we do not teach history. Other than nonsense like Zinn’s analysis.

    And when people don’t know history, the politicians can foist off the same nonsense, over and over again.

    Heck, students today don’t even know anything about the Carter Administration, let alone the Industrial Revolution.

    Except when they are told that the Industrial Revolution was bad for farmers. You know, those brave hard working people working close to Mother Earth, all in balance.

    Sigh.

    Eric Blair (1aa50b)

  71. Greed
    n. An excessive desire to acquire or possess more than what one needs ordeserves, especially with respect to material wealth.
    American Heritage dictionary

    If it ain’t excessive, it ain’t greed.

    If it’s excessive, by definition, it’s bad.

    Greed is not good.

    Case closed.

    Hax Vobiscum (23258e)

  72. Coconut is a high-fiber food, Mr. Vobiscum. Tasty, too.

    happyfeet (71f55e)

  73. Freidman has mastered half the truth, which is far more than most of us manage.

    When people start chanting that his ideas are the whole truth, I feel compelled to try and direct their attention to the other half.

    Hax Vobiscum (8cb4c3)

  74. Hax, tell me that that doesn’t describe Barack Hussein Obama to a T. The definition of greed.

    Mike, your posts are awesome. You should hook up with the RNC and get heard. Young people don’t know this stuff. It’s not being taught in schools. With Obamalama it will only get worse.

    Vermont Neighbor (ab0837)

  75. And I like my coconut in curry soup.

    Nothing like a hot bowl of Tom Gah Kai and an ice cold Singha on the beach…

    Hax Vobiscum (8cb4c3)

  76. That sounds nice, really.

    happyfeet (71f55e)

  77. Which half of Obama should we believe? Promise #1 or the ensuing alternate version that happens without fail?

    Vermont Neighbor (ab0837)

  78. Nothing like a hot bowl of Tom Gah Kai and an ice cold Singha on the beach

    Only capitalist endeavors will fund such frivolity. Truth.

    Vermont Neighbor (ab0837)

  79. Greed
    n. An excessive desire to acquire or possess more than what one needs ordeserves, especially with respect to material wealth.
    American Heritage dictionary

    That doesn’t jibe with your earlier definition of greed:

    Greed makes the government grabby. It makes individuals grabby as well. And by grabby, I mean unwilling to follow the rules.

    “Excessive” and “unwilling to follow the rules” are not synonymous.

    Someone can be greedy without breaking the rules.

    And excessive is highly subjective. I think Tom Cruise making $20,000,000 a picture is excessive, but others clearly do not.

    So, unless you want us to submit to you as the ultimate arbiter of what’s bad and what’s good, the case is far from closed.

    Steverino (b12c49)

  80. Hacking Cough’s increasingly unhinged rants are becoming more entertaining by the day – next up: Hack’s master plan for feeding the world’s poor and hungry via an IOU from Obama.

    Greed
    n. An excessive desire to acquire or possess more than what one needs ordeserves, especially with respect to material wealth.

    Troll:

    The Common Blog Troll is a recently discovered species, most likely evolved from the Common Usenet Troll or perhaps its close cousin, the Common Forum Troll. Its primary source of nourishment is a response to its excrement, which is left in the form of a comment on any weblog which allows comments. Its best not to feed the troll, otherwise it might make itself at home and litter said blog with ever growing piles of excrement.

    From Usenet, October 21st, 2004

    Wear that tin foil hat proudly, Hacking Phlegm!

    Dmac (49b16c)

  81. Freidman has mastered half the truth, which is far more than most of us manage.

    And you’ve apparently mastered the art of self – flaggelation, but there’s nothing less than 100% dedication to your bizarre art form, at least in your case.

    Dmac (49b16c)

  82. Um… “... I feel compelled to try and direct …” your attention to the correct spelling of proper names.

    I would also suggest that “excessive” is one of those slippery context-dependent terms. One person’s “greed” is another person’s “compensation.”

    Even your salary would be seen as obscenely unnecessary by the majority of the world, right? Even as an hourly employee. You don’t genuinely need more than 25K a year, after all. Right? How can you deny other people the resources you squander?

    The problem with your worldview is that it wholly marinated in your own personal dictionary of terms, and not incidentally your own version of “greed” for the things that you want and don’t actually need. Be careful.

    There used to be this fellow named Saloth Sar. He used intellectuals to help create a “People’s Revolution” and institute some odd forms of agrarian reform, in part because of that nasty bugaboo of “greed.” Many intellectuals of the period agreed, and the result was not pleasant for those intellectuals after a time.

    Or anyone else in Cambodia during Pol Pot’s regime.

    Thus, who decides “excessive”? You? Barney Frank? Milton “Freidman”?

    And once you put that kind of nonsense authoritarianism into place, you cann0t complain when people who don’t share your socio-political view take power, and apply their definitions to you.

    Eric Blair (1aa50b)

  83. “excessive is highly subjective.”

    Indeed.

    So if you don’t believe an 80 percent tax rate is “excessive” then you don’t believe the tax collectors are greedy.

    If you don’t think owning five Hummers is excessive, then filling your garage(s) that way isn’t greedy.

    Greed = Excess
    Excess = Bad
    Greed = Bad

    As Friedman notes, governments can be greedy too and I’m sure dmac doesn’t like that kind of greed one bit…

    Hax Vobiscum (23258e)

  84. Ah, the correct spelling at last. Thank you.

    But let’s get down to brass tacks.

    How much do you make per year, sir, before taxes? Then perhaps other people can judge whether or not you are showing excessive greed.

    I, on the other hand, don’t make that kind of judgment, because it is None. Of. My. Business.

    I don’t care what you own. That is up to the market, not to Barney Frank.

    Eric Blair (1aa50b)

  85. Or anyone else in Cambodia during Pol Pot’s regime.

    Hackey has no idea what you’re talking about, Eric. Quel surprise.

    If you don’t think owning five Hummers is excessive,

    Hummer sales have fallen off a cliff, Hackey – their severe decline began when gas prices shot through the roof, and GM dealers started giving them away on their lots. That’s called a market correction within a capitalistic system. GM put the division up for sale over a year ago, and no takers as of yet.

    But you wouldn’t know anything about that, would you?

    BTW, do you have an ocelot named “Whiskers?”

    Dmac (49b16c)

  86. Dmac, I swear, the “ocelot” line makes me laugh every time. I don’t know you, but I so owe you (and the other posters in your part of the world) a couple of drinks (and maybe a dinner at the hysterical Flaming Sword of Economic Stimulus restaurant you described) if I get to Chicago.

    Eric Blair (1aa50b)

  87. Ditto if I ever make it back to the great Northwest, Eric. Back when I worked at Gourmet Magazine we had reviewed a new Thai restaurant in downtown Seattle. I think it’s still there (about three blocks from Pike’s), and it was awesome.

    Dmac (49b16c)

  88. I don’t know you, but I so owe you

    What? After all that time at Cathy’s World, I think you’re giving yourself short shrift in that regard.

    Dmac (49b16c)

  89. I also think what happened to Robespierre is instructive, too. Be very, very careful about creating standards for other people—you may see those standards again, and not wielded by your friends!

    Especially when those standards have rather flexible borders, and verbiage open to interpretation. Such as “excessive greed,” which was stated by someone who just before hand delivered this line:

    “…Nothing like a hot bowl of Tom Gah Kai and an ice cold Singha on the beach……”

    What on Earth would a poor person in this country think about such arrogant and excessive greed and sense of entitlement?

    I say put a cap on this fellow’s income, immediately, to a reasonable limit (and I get to define that limit). And he really doesn’t need a car, since public transportation is more sustainable. And what he eats should be controlled, as well. After all, health care costs could be better managed by a healthier diet.

    And so on. The demon of authoritarianism is everywhere, and must be resisted at all costs. I’ll take Gordon Gekko over Pol Pot any day of the week.

    Eric Blair (1aa50b)

  90. Well, Dmac, you know what I mean. Electrons and photons and all. But you are a funny fellow.

    There are lots of great people around here at Patterico, come to think of it.

    Seattle is a funny place–it feels are crowded like San Francisco to me (and probably for the same reasons—port city, hills, etc). But there are indeed some chi-chi restaurants with fine cuisine!

    Eric Blair (1aa50b)

  91. Hax Vobiscum wrote:

    Greed: n. An excessive desire to acquire or possess more than what one needs or deserves, especially with respect to material wealth.
    American Heritage dictionary

    If it ain’t excessive, it ain’t greed.

    If it’s excessive, by definition, it’s bad.

    Greed is not good.

    Case closed.

    So, just what do we actually need? My ancestors survived, at least long enough to continue the line, in log cabins with thatched roofs, without electricity or running water, with an outhouse somewhere out back, and a flintlock to hunt game.

    Am I greedy, then, to want heat in my home, or the new 22″ monitor I just bought at Circuit City’s going out of business sale :) or the electric range in which my darling bride is now doing her wifely duties and preparing my supper?

    Oh, wait, no, I see it: greed is defined as “An excessive desire to acquire or possess more than what one needs or deserves,” and I happen to think I deserve a lot! Ergo, I am not greedy!

    The nit-picking Dana (556f76)

  92. [...] UPDATE I: From Instapundit comes this You Tube gem from Milton Friedman teaching Phil Donahue a lesson in capitalism and free markets. [...]

    You Know Democrats have a Turkey Stimulus Bill When SNL Rips It … Nancy Pelosi & Harry Reid Mocked in Satire | Scared Monkeys Missing Persons Site (1b1833)

  93. [...] UPDATE I: From Instapundit comes this You Tube gem from Milton Friedman teaching Phil Donahue a lesson in capitalism and free markets. [...]

    You Know Democrats have a Turkey Stimulus Bill When SNL Rips It … Nancy Pelosi & Harry Reid Mocked in Satire | Scared Monkeys (1b1833)

  94. Obama made excessive profits off a shitty self serving autobiography… greedy bastard.
    I think he should give up 90% of his excessive windfall profits to pay towards his “stimulus plan”.

    Obama…. “greed is good for me… I won”

    SteveG (a87dae)

  95. ____________________________________

    What’s been surprising to me during the current recession is how easily influenced the more affluent in society have been to signs of economic downturn. The way their behavior has affected luxury retailers, as one example, who’ve seen their sales volume drop more noticeably than that of even Wal-Mart. Then again, the quirks of human nature displayed over 16 years ago should have been a preview of what could easily happen in the 21st Century.

    One would think that greed (or “greed,” or perhaps call it “keeping up with the Joneses”) would be more resilient to what some of Obama’s biggest supporters tend to take for granted or can be quite glib about.


    New York Times, February 7, 1992:

    The nation’s luxury-boat builders, many clinging to their businesses after two years of plunging sales, finally got some good news last week. President Bush, in his budget proposals, asked Congress to repeal the 10 percent luxury tax on yachts priced at more than $100,000 (and also on private planes that cost more than $250,000). The repeal, which Congress is likely to approve, would be retroactive to Feb. 1.

    Since the tax took effect in January 1990, hundreds of builders of large and small boats have spoken of it as a stake driven into the heart of an industry already suffering from the recession, tighter bank rules on financing and fallout from the gulf war.

    In the last two years, about 100 builders of luxury boats — recreational craft costing more than $100,000 — cut their operations severely and laid off thousands of workers. Some builders filed for protection from creditors under Chapter 11 of the Federal Bankruptcy Code. Now, sales personnel and owners of marine companies are hoping they will be swamped by buyers who have held off in the expectation that the tax will be repealed.

    The 10 percent tax applies to the amount of the cost above $100,000, so that a boat selling for $300,000 carries a $20,000 luxury tax. That tax is in addition to any state and local taxes.

    Mr. Bush’s proposals were endorsed by Senator George J. Mitchell, Democrat of Maine and majority leader, whose state is active in boat building. That increases the chances that Congress will accept the argument that repealing the tax will create jobs and promote economic growth.

    Overall employment in the industry, including the makers of smaller, less-expensive boats, has dropped to 400,000, from 600,000 in 1988.

    In 1991, sales of luxury boats dropped 70 percent from 1990′s level, while overall boat sales fell 18 percent.

    “The luxury tax really hurt us,” said William J. Healey, the president of the Viking Yatch Company in New Gretna, N.J.

    He gestured toward a few big luxury boats being built there. A 50-foot boat costing $800,000 is bound for Italy; a $1 million yacht may be sold in Japan. A 65-foot motor yatch costing $1.3 million is bound for Greece. The business from overseas, developed in the last two years, is enabling Viking to limp along, its work force cut to 150 workers from 800. “Very fortunately, it has helped us weather the downturn,” Mr. Healey said as he pointed to two production lines that have been inactive for several years.

    Domestic demand fell so sharply that a year ago Viking shut an operation in Tampa, Fla., that employed 800 workers. The plant was built in the boom of the 1980′s, when most boat makers could not keep up with demand.


    NY Times,1-15-09:

    The tide of retail layoffs is swelling, with two of the nation’s premier luxury department stores cutting hundreds of jobs as they struggle to endure a freeze in consumer spending.

    Saks Inc. said late Thursday that it was cutting 1,100 in-store and corporate support jobs, or about 9 percent of its work force, eliminating merit-based wage increases and suspending matching contributions to employee 401(k) plans for at least a year. On Wednesday, Neiman Marcus said it was cutting 375 jobs, or 2.3 percent of its work force.

    After one of the worst holiday shopping seasons in decades, retailers of all stripes are suffering. But the luxury sector has been hit especially hard. Sales of luxury goods fell 27.6 percent in December compared with December 2007, according to SpendingPulse, a report by MasterCard Advisors that estimates sales from all forms of payment, including credit cards and cash. The decline in the luxury category in December was greater than the 24.4 percent drop in November.
    ____________________________________

    Mark (411533)

  96. You know the stimulus bill is bad when ……

    Saturday Night Live is ripping Democrats over the stimulus plan:

    Now, once you get done laughing at that, Jack Dunphy at Patterico’s has a flashback video of Milton Friedman laying the law down to Phil Donahue on the merits of capitalism and fre…

    Sister Toldjah (52e518)

  97. You got it, Dana.

    You’re not greedy.

    Surprised?

    Disappointed?

    Hax Vobiscum (23258e)

  98. Dana, Hack’s entire economic philosophy is to repeat trite definitions of “greed”. It shows a fundamental lack of understanding of free markets, their purposes and effects. Not to mention a comic book understanding of socialism.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  99. I remember when an idea was floated a few years ago. It was this idea that those living in free government housing should be required to spend 2 hours a week helping with the upkeep. Some female Chicago Democrat member of the House of Representatives was up in arms about that idea. She declared it was communist and how dare anyone force someone to work 2 hours a week for the roof over their heads! Her argumentation was only slightly more sound than Hax.

    John Hitchcock (fb941d)

  100. Well, Mr Vobiscum, if what I said doesn’t make me greedy, I really wish you’d tell me what I do need to do to become a greedy bastard. I’ve got lust, gluttony, sloth, wrath, envy and pride down pat, and I really hate to be less than 100%!

    The incompleted Dana (556f76)

  101. Mark wrote:

    One would think that greed (or “greed,” or perhaps call it “keeping up with the Joneses”) would be more resilient to what some of Obama’s biggest supporters tend to take for granted or can be quite glib about.

    Or, perhaps, it means that the people who have wealth have it precisely because they are both highly productive and economically wise. With times being uncertain, perhaps the wealthy have, generally speaking, figured out that this is the time to preserve their wealth rather than spend it. Further, they might even see purchases in terms of investments, and be less inclined to buy something that might not hold its value due to lower demand.

    I know, I know, such a thought horrifies our friends on the left, who believe that greater wealth can only have been achieved through Exploitation of the Masses — with, of course, the notable exception of their own wealth.

    The economically-challenged Dana (556f76)

  102. Greed is wanting more and more, at the expense of respect for the rules and, ultimately, the civility of your fellow man.

    You mean like demanding 800 billion dollars and more from the pockets of other people?

    Thanks for making my point — Democrats and leftists in general are horrifically greedy. They just mask their greed behind claims of doing good.

    Rob Crawford (b5d1c2)

  103. People need government planning.

    You first. I intend on staying a free man.

    Rob Crawford (b5d1c2)

  104. Mark, I read that ’08 was the first holiday season that pelted the luxury goods category, and badly. It was something like 32% down, even more than what’s listed in that article.

    Some of the money types can buy high-end items from the warehouse catalogues. Costco and Sam’s were carrying astronomical luxury goodies, at least back in ’07. Of course it doesn’t come with that dreamy Tiffany’s box.

    As for Hax and his pricey beach treat – THAT sounds pretty high-end for a guy who wants the country’s health coverage, birth control and whatever else to come at no pain, no cost! I think your tastes are a little greedy for a guy who’s a hard chargin’ stripped-down DNC progressive. Just sayin’.

    Vermont Neighbor (ab0837)

  105. Mr Vobiscum wrote:

    People need government planning.

    True, true, too true! And the evidence of such is the wealthy, the mighty Союз Советских Социалистических Республик, which has achieved its dominant place in the world due to its fine, incisive, thorough and meticulous Five-Year Plans.

    The historically accurate Dana (556f76)

  106. No, VN, that is the point. People like Hax want other people to bear the pain and make the sacrifices. Their own excesses are perfectly okay and understandable…or if pressed, not of consequence.

    When I was in graduate school, Paul Ehrlich (of “The Population Bomb“) was a professor in a related department. He had just authored a book detailing how incredibly wasteful of world resources Western Civilization (and the US) was; we used up far too many resources.

    Imagine my amazement when I discovered Professor Ehrlich owned a private airplane.

    I asked him about it. Without a trace of shame he said “What I do doesn’t matter; what we do as a nation does.”

    It was okay for Professor Ehrlich to castigate others, call them greedy, and so forth. Even write an entire book on the subject. It was another thing entirely for him to give up his toys, which weren’t greedy or didn’t matter.

    Sort of like holding forth with a dogmatic treatise on greed…right after detailing a nice beach banquet.

    I would call it cognitive dissonance, but it is very common these days. And there are examples of these types of people on both sides of the aisle. Hypocrites and smiling fascists, is what they are.

    Eric Blair (cc9718)

  107. Historically Accurate Dana:

    I think we are about to get, not a Five Year Plan, but a Great Leap Forward.

    It may even be Year Zero.

    You are very, very right.

    Eric Blair (cc9718)

  108. On both sides of the aisle, true. At least the GOP wants people to work and achieve… the Dems, not so much! (see: Serf) (see: Nanny)

    Your plane loving colleague made me remember, it’s always the other guy with them. Al Gore, Barbra Streisand, on and on. Do as I say not as I do. They are sooo greedy. Just by telling others not to dream and go for what they themselves have. Obama, we’re finding out, is the same breed of hypocrite. Very much so…

    Vermont Neighbor (ab0837)

  109. People need government planning.
    Ha Ha.
    People Sheep need government planning. People can make their own plans.

    Perfect Sense (0922fa)

  110. I think we are about to get, not a Five Year Plan, but a Great Leap Forward.

    It may even be Year Zero.

    Good thing I got lasik a few years ago. I’d hate to be caught with eyeglasses.

    Rob Crawford (b5d1c2)

  111. Your plane loving colleague made me remember, it’s always the other guy with them. Al Gore, Barbra Streisand, on and on. Do as I say not as I do.

    Oh, and beyond that, they don’t realize that by setting up a government with the power to do “industrial planning”, they’re setting up a government with the power to do “social planning”.

    Rob Crawford (b5d1c2)

  112. Social planning and/or the famous civilian army.

    Vermont Neighbor (ab0837)

  113. Mr Blair wrote:

    I think we are about to get, not a Five Year Plan, but a Great Leap Forward.

    I guess we’ll know when we see the pictures of President Barack Hussein Obama swimming in the Potomac.

    The historian Dana (556f76)

  114. Friedman is right. The left’s ideas will only work if all members of the society are angels. Of course, if that were the case they wouldn’t need government, or politics, or people like Donahue whining at them.

    Whenever someone starts complaining about capitalism, you can be sure that he sees freedom as something that will have to sacrificed for the greater good somewhere along the line.

    AST (fa373b)

  115. Vermont Neighbor #112: this is where I started to noticing this “projection” meme from the Left. They kept accusing the Right, angrily, of things that they themselves were doing. I’m not saying that Right is necessarily clean, but there was certainly a flexible yardstick of behavior imposed.

    Rob Crawford, #114: do you have any idea how few students (and faculty) know what the heck you are talking about with the eyeglasses comment? George Santayana is weeping. Thanks for having read about the Cambodian genocide.

    Nice one, Historian Dana #117. But after this:

    http://www.insideouthv.com/Cover_NovDec08.jpg

    I thought they might be having the gentleman throwing a silver-free dollar coin (adjusted pre-inflation) across the Potomac.

    Or maybe one of the quarters with his face on them that people are discussing:

    http://www.encoreselect.com/index.asp?PageAction=VIEWPROD&ProdID=2490

    “Dear Leader,” indeed.

    Eric Blair (1aa50b)

  116. “You mean like demanding 800 billion dollars and more from the pockets of other people?”
    Rob Crawford,
    You are forgetting the 700 billion before that for incompetent bankers, 1 trillion before that for a bungled mismanaged war, 1+ trillion before that for tax breaks, etc. etc.etc.etc. That money came from the pockets of other people too. Right?
    Republicans and their buddies have been getting theirs for 8 years now so it’s a little late for them to start wringing their hands ’bout breakin’ the bank.
    As far as the Dems are concerned its their turn at the trough and they are gonna borrow the money to chow down too. Republicans will belly up also, even though they are so repulsed by the thing that they will not vote for it. And all those loudmouths out there who drone on and on about the “free market” and “bloated government” and “tax and spend liberals” blah blah blah will be paying lobbyists to scoop in as much of that pork or as many of those tax cuts for themselves and their business interests as they can won’t they?

    EdWood (ef5e2c)

  117. Ed, are there any lobbyists left ? Aren’t they all whoring it out for the new Transparency Superheroes team?

    Vermont Neighbor (ab0837)

  118. As a latecomer to this sometimes elevated discussion of economic principles and human behavior, what is clear to me from Friedman’s very clear comments is that “greed” is simply the pejorative for self-interest used by libs who are promoting class warfare and envy. Is someone greedy for wanting to work more overtime at time-and-a half?. Am I somehow morally flawed for asking for a raise? There certainly are immoral people out there, but, as Friedman says, who of us is wise enough, or detached enough, or sufficiently independent to manage a planned economy? That’s one of two reasons they don’t work. The other is simply motivation. If my job or my income is guaranteed, I’m just not going to work as hard or as long or as smart. Free-market capitalism surely isn’t perfect, but it is far superior to the alternatives. Recall that power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Obie and his crew, however hard they may try, will not succeed in repealing either the laws of economics or the laws of human nature.

    Mike gee (0a9bf5)

  119. Eric, is it unpatriotic to take an Obama coin to the gun range and shoot a hole through it?

    Vermont Neighbor (ab0837)

  120. VN, I would be very careful about even joking in this area. The world has changed. And though privacy seems to be a big deal when it comes to Islamic terrorists, I’m not sure that ordinary citizens enjoy that protection.

    You know the Voltaire quote, I’ll bet: I defend your right to say (write) what you did.

    Eric Blair (1aa50b)

  121. It’s just a coin, but you never know with this crew. They’re still circulating candles with heavenly Messiah pictures so I guess he matters. Not to 47% of he voting total, but he matters.

    Pablo asked Love ’08 if she wanted the government to take over the auto industry and all business. Why can’t this person answer a question ? Of course she doesn’t. If she did, she would say so.

    Vermont Neighbor (ab0837)

  122. Honestly, VN, this is about people who got carried away…and when their torch-bearer turned out to be an inexperienced Chicago pol, need to support their original choice, no matter what.

    As I say, I hope that BO is a quick learner. It’s a tough old world out there.

    Eric Blair (1aa50b)

  123. You’re generous.

    I hope he’s a quick change artist too… From socialism to capitalism.

    Rush Limbaugh (ab0837)

  124. #121 Haw haw! too true.

    EdWood (ef5e2c)

  125. Common folks!

    I’m so glad to see that we’ve come so far away from this type of mindframe, yet not far enough in my opinion.

    Those who benefit directly from a corrupt system and society tend to defend it no matter how big the holes in its ideology.

    We need serious change, not a pacifier.

    Maybe at the time of this interview we as a pubic didn’t have the mind to comprehend anything different but that has changed. 30 years later, we surely have the technology and resources to practically nullify poverty, greed and ultimately the need for money and debt, which is the newest and best form of global slavery and the system Friedman so clutched at.

    So, knowing that there are other possibilities out there, one would think we’d start pushing to do the really do the right thing, don’t you?

    What’s stopping us? Oh yeah, we are inherently evil as humans, plucked from the virginity of the garden, greedy and selfish, right. It’s certainly not the system we support everyday by going to work, getting in debt, having money borrowed from us to be lent back to us with interest, to save us from the decisions they made with our lives, hard earned money, sweat and blood.

    right.

    EarsOn (821386)

  126. “Rush Limbaugh” wrote:

    I hope he’s a quick change artist too… From socialism to capitalism.

    Unfortunately, it doesn’t work that way: people — and countries — may change from capitalism to socialism, but once socialism is implimented, it takes over so much of the economy that it’s virtually impossible to go back.

    The discouraged Dana (3e4784)

  127. Obama and Soros rode in exactly on that strategy. That not enough people would know or understand the difference between socialism and capitalism. Look at a few of the posters here. They like Obama for his Hollywood way. Many underlings want a nanny state — but some won’t even know what they voted for until it hits.

    Kruschev… the youth… we’ll be undermined… et cetera.

    Vermont Neighbor (ab0837)

  128. If the countries that are living in poverty operated on the same principles of capitalism and so-called “greed” perhaps they would be prosperous too.

    BAMAddox (4e0dda)

  129. You are forgetting the 700 billion before that for incompetent bankers, 1 trillion before that for a bungled mismanaged war, 1+ trillion before that for tax breaks, etc. etc.etc.etc. That money came from the pockets of other people too. Right?

    I thought the bailout was stupid, the war was not “bungled” or “mismanaged”, and tax cuts do not come out of other peoples’ pockets.

    In any case, defense is a legitimate function of the government. Keeping investment firms solvent isn’t.

    30 years later, we surely have the technology and resources to practically nullify poverty, greed and ultimately the need for money and debt

    Gene Roddenberry, is that you?

    For one, neither technology nor resources can “nullify” poverty. Some people are going to have hard luck, some are going to make the wrong choices, and some are just going to prefer to flake out and not have the responsibilities that go with being a contributing member of society.

    Second, “greed” is either the pathological form of self-interest (the typical usage) or simply the perjorative term used to denigrate people who want to deal with their own obligations without being forced to take on those of other people.

    Third, “money” is simply a means of ensuring that you’ve done something for someone else that they value. I work for my employer (who makes money by providing goods and services for customers), they pay me in exchange for that work. I then take that money and exchange it for goods and services. It’s an abstraction over simple barter.

    Finally, “debt” is simply a way to time-shift the barter. The primitive equivalent would be a farmer agreeing to let another use his bull for stud service in exchange for a share of the resulting calves. The lender lets you use some of their money, and in exchange you pay them not only what you borrowed, but also a little extra to pay them for the inconvenience of not having access to their own money.

    There’s nothing wrong with “money” or “debt”. The problem is with people who can’t comprehend how to use either one properly.

    Rob Crawford (04f50f)

  130. “I thought the bailout was stupid”
    Me too.
    “the war was not “bungled” or “mismanaged”,
    Which part? Maybe not the military part, especially later in the war when Petraeus took over, but what about the private sector “rebuilding” part which was supposed to get all the Iraqi’s behind our smooth move?. You know, the “greeted as liberators” part. I’m not necessarily against a war that gives us a forward base of operations against a new enemy and puts our claim on a chunk of the remaining oil on the planet (till we can move on to something else for fuel) and also gets rid of a real louse at the same time. But why’d it have to cost so much? Bungling.
    ” tax cuts do not come out of other peoples’ pockets.”
    You are right. I meant tax cuts that are not followed by spending cuts. The Govt. borrowed a lot of the money for Bush’s tax cuts which has to be paid back somehow.

    I also agree that Defense is a legitimate expenditure of the government but dang man! how much do they need? When do defense expenditures (yah not ones on active military operations) become just another really really expensive “make work” program? Why should taxpayers have to pay for that? Or if we do, must we pay so much?

    EdWood (c2268a)

  131. Love the nod to Gene Roddenberry.

    steve miller (3381bc)

  132. I’m not necessarily against a war that gives us a forward base of operations against a new enemy and puts our claim on a chunk of the remaining oil on the planet (till we can move on to something else for fuel) and also gets rid of a real louse at the same time. But why’d it have to cost so much?

    Because war’s expensive?

    You are right. I meant tax cuts that are not followed by spending cuts. The Govt. borrowed a lot of the money for Bush’s tax cuts which has to be paid back somehow.

    They should have cut spending. I can point to some areas they could cut. Somehow, I doubt those areas would have seen any reductions.

    I also agree that Defense is a legitimate expenditure of the government but dang man! how much do they need? When do defense expenditures (yah not ones on active military operations) become just another really really expensive “make work” program? Why should taxpayers have to pay for that? Or if we do, must we pay so much?

    *sigh*

    Defense is around 20% of the federal budget. It’s dwarfed by social spending. Why should taxpayers have to pay for all that? If we do, why do we have to pay so much?

    Rob Crawford (04f50f)

  133. Rob, your estimate of defense spending is still way too high by a third. It’s funny to see people estimate things they haven’t researched. Even intelligent people make wild guesses when estimating. It is 4.4% of GDP and http://www.heritage.org/research/Budget/images/bg2012_chart2.jpg“> about 15% of the federal budget. That has already been promised a further reduction of 10% by Obama. Of the defense budget, about 2/3 is personnel and retirement.

    Mike K (f89cb3)

  134. Mr.Friedmen touched truth twords the end of his talk. We cannot govern ourselves.

    Mike Gabrilson (a18c34)


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